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The Obby Takeover: A Weekend-long adventure in London August 21 2017

We've recently partnered with Obby, an ace new website that helps you find unique, interesting and creative workshops & courses all over London. It's so easy to get stuck in a routine of the usual, and boy oh boy have they have come to our rescue. So, without further ado, let's see what Obby has in store to spice up our weekends.


Thanks guys! We’ve mapped out a pretty special and adventurous weekend for
newbies to the big smoke or hardened locals. Lets be honest, the wonderful
attractions of London can get a little drab after the 10 th time visiting so we’ve trawled
the latest openings and blogs to find the quirkiest things to do this weekend for all
you trailblazing city adventurers out there.

Thursday Night




We know for us at least, the weekend starts on a Thursday evening. Which is why
we recommend starting yours early with this brilliant class ‘Drink and Draw’ from
Turpentine. It’s at 7pm so won’t clash with work hours and its perfect for those of you
with artistic (or alcohol) cravings. Can’t decide whether to rewind over a few beers
with your pals or try your hand at some drawing? Well this class was quite literally
made for you, because you do both of those things in this magical hour and a half.
This workshop is brilliant, fun and accessible for all levels with no need to bring
anything but a cheery attitude and your drink of choice! Expertly guided by Jude you
are sure to pick up tips on your drawing whatever your ability. Get yourself over to
Obby to book on the class today.

Friday Night



Be brand new and visit the latest venture from Street Feast that only opened days
ago! Home to London’s largest roof garden this sky high street food market, Giant
Robot, is the best place to be on a Friday. Smack bang in the middle of the city at
Canary Wharf in Crossrail Place, this market is the place of dreams with stalls from
Yum Buns, Thunderbird and our personal favourite Bob’s Lobster. Open till late this
market is the perfect place to drink away the week and get ready for the weekend
with food and friends up in the clouds!

Saturday



Photo Credit: www.godsowncountry.co.uk
Doesn’t this look like heaven? Well, it almost is. This is God’s Own Junkyard giant
robot in Upper Walthamstow. It’s the home of the late, great neon artist (did you guess?),
Chris Bracey’s, personal collection, as well as some of his own pieces.
A few of the signs have featured in movies such as ‘Byzantium’ and ‘Captain America’ and the whole thing has been home to a recent
Vogue shoot. This is a pretty cool spot to be. It has
it’s own ‘Rolling Scones’ café, which serves cakes food and alcoholic beverages so
book this one in for a long afternoon. You’ll never want to leave. It’s open from 10.30
till 4 every Friday and Saturday and entry is free!

Saturday Night



See London in a whole new way! Explore the city through your camera lens, with the
expert help of György and ExposureWorks ‘Urban Landscape Photography’ class.
Share your passion of photography by traipsing through the wilderness of Canary
Wharf and The Barbican, discovering the reflections, perspective, patterns and
depths of the environment. A great way to experience the city and refine your
photography skills. Come away feeling confident in capturing the vibrancy of London,
or any city in fact! Book your 1-1 session with Obby.

Sunday Morning



Photo Credit: Time Out London

Bottomless brunch is a huge craze, well everywhere. But obviously in London, we
have the best places to do it. Vivek Singh’s modern Indian brunch at Cinnamon Soho
is a dream come true, bottomless mimosas or Prosecco for a single £20. This funky
spot offers a well-priced brunch menu with dishes coming in at around the £5 mark. It
is literally heaven. Not everyone can say they’ve had Indian food for breakfast, but
who has sausages anymore?! Pass up the aloo gobi. Have a look at the full menu here. You can’t do Sunday without brunch so finish off your weekend with a lunch-
time food coma and spend the rest of the day catching up on Netflix.


Where To: Find Great Beer in Brixton June 07 2017

Hellooooo June! The sun keeps peeking out and Father’s Day is just around the corner. This might be just about the right time that you’re looking to find a few decent spots to grab a beer and sit outside. Or perhaps you are on your way to join us for Drink & Draw and want something tasty? Or maybe even a little something for your Dad? This list should hopefully help you out.

 

The Pop Over

House of Bottles

420 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LF

 

Opposite the Turpentine is Brixton local legend Tony’s House of Bottles. They have a big sign outside boasting about the range of whiskies they have on offer but I’ll be honest in saying I’ve only had my eyes on the prize: their ready to grab chilled beer. Over the years their selection of local and interesting craft beers has been growing so you can easily pick something recognisable from the likes of London Fields, ELB and a large selection from our pals over at Brixton Brewery

 

The Saturday Mooch

Brixton Brewery

Arch 547, Brixton Station Rd, SW9 8PF

Founded in 2013 by two couples Jez & Libby and Mike & Xochitl, Brixton Brewery has been creating delicious and colourful brews that celebrate the culture and names of Brixton itself.

You can visit them on Saturdays from 12-6pm, taste their wares and pick out a few bottles for yourself to take away. Not in town on a Saturday? We stock their tees, beer glasses and prints and, with the choice over at House of Bottles, you can re-create a bit of the experience any day of the week.

(Brixton Brewery are also our June Artist of the Month so find out more about them here)

 

The Selection

Ghost Whale

70 Atlantic Rd, SW9 8PX

 

New kids on the block Ghost Whale are a little out of the way from the centre, but well worth the wander over. Boasting hundreds of different options from different breweries, you can spend a long time just drinking it all in. Literally! With a table in the middle (and a small beer garden at the back when it’s nice outside) you can make your choice from the well stocked fridge or even one of the beers on tap, sit down and become familiar with a new favourite. You can get everything from the greatest hits you know to some ungodly strong, knock your socks off kinda ales. If you’re like me and like to pick your new beers from their choice of colourful, cartoony artwork, then boy oh boy are you in luck too!

 

The Precisionist

Market Row Wines

20 Market Row, SW9 8LD

 

Now I know what you’re thinking. But Elsa, isn’t the clue in the name? Well you’d be correct. Their focus is on great wines But they have a small but very well informed array of great beers that are almost too easy to just pick up on your way through Market Row. And do you want to be the one missing out? Didn’t think so ;).

 

The Oh Balls I Have to Stay in the Office

Desk Beers

www.deskbeers.com

 

Because sometimes the beer just has to come to you, I can wholeheartedly recommend Deskbeers. Longtime pals of the Turpentine, Deskbeers is a subscription service that delivers a curated themed selection of brews to your specification. They can send you a box once, twice or as often as you like and you can even gift them. We have recently enjoyed our way through music themed Signature Brew box which featured a choice of three cans all inspired by music and musicians.

So whether for a special celebration, Friday drinks with the work pals or a last minute Father’s day gift you don’t even have to post yourself. It’s perfect! And if you work from an office at home? Well then it’s like a beery gift all to yourself.

 

 

Now I have to admit that there was little extra research made for this post. I thought you might like to see from my experience pottering around in a post work daze, hunting for the one thing I crave, a lovely cold beer! There is a high chance I’ve managed to ignore a few local gems. Why not let me know what I’m missing out on and also let me know if any of this helps you in any way.

 

E xo


Brixton Brewery : June Artist of the Month June 02 2017

Do we spot a little bit of sun out here in Brixton? Hello old friend! And who better to chat to than our pals over at Brixton Brewery. Not only are they turning over delicious, fresh, flavourful beers all week long but they are throughly good eggs here for you with a Canadian's education on how to eat bacon. 

 

Team BB

Team BB at a brewers pub quiz

 

Tell us a bit about yourself. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

We started when two couples (Jez and Libby and Mike and Xochitl) met in a Brixton pub (the late Hive Bar, now Craft Beer Co.) and struck up a conversation over our brand-newborn babies. We were all getting used to the rhythms of parenthood (it was 11am on a Sunday and we were the only people in the pub for brunch), but it turned out that we had quite a bit in common, besides just the tiny humans – Libby, Xochitl and Mike all grew up in Canada, we happened to live on the same street in Brixton, and we all had the dream of opening a brewery. It was 2010, and craft beer was very much gaining momentum. We were sure it was only a matter of time before someone opened a Brixton Brewery and we were equally sure that it should be us. We started in 2013 with the aim of making great local beer in one of London’s greatest local areas. We wanted to bring together our love of beer and our love of Brixton.

 

What are your main inspirations and influences for the products?

We are inspired very much by our surroundings. All of the beers in our core range are named after Brixton locations. We’ve got Effra Ale , Coldharbour Lager  Atlantic APA, Electric IPA , Windrush Stout and Reliance Pale Ale. (You can follow the links to find out the origins behind some of the names)

Our much commented upon labels were inspired by the African batik fabrics that you see everywhere in Brixton. We wanted them to be as striking, interesting and colourful as Brixton itself. In fact, our labels became so popular that we commissioned a set of limited edition prints for sale based on some of our label motifs. We are mainly known for our well-balanced and easy-drinking beers, but we have on occasion been inspired by local flavours to experiment. We’ve made beer with sorrel, mango and green tea (though not at the same time…) and we do a very popular stout brewed with Volcano coffee .

 

 

What is the process?

We have four full time brewers and we brew several times a week as freshness is really important to us. When we’re developing new beers, we think about things like seasons, new styles, good flavour combinations, hop varietals and flavours we can add. We’ve also done some collaborations with other breweries and local restaurants (our Market Saison, brewed with Nanban restaurant will be available again in spring 2017). We’ve also collaborated with designers Eley Kishimoto on some of our labels. We’re proud supporters of the Brixton Windmill and have brewed with malts milled at the windmill.


Where are you based and how does that affect your products?

We are based in a railway arch on Brixton Station Road. During the week we brew and on Saturdays, we open as a cosy little tap room. You can read a bit more about brewery life here.


What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

We love that we are making something tangible in an age where you can feel disconnected from the process of where things come from. We all left desk and computer based jobs to start the brewery and hands-on production was a big part of the attraction for us. It’s great being involved in an industry that brings people together, and gives them something to enjoy. When you say you own a brewery, people take notice and are interested. It seems to really capture the imagination. 


It's getting sunny! What's your favourite thing about this time of year?

We’re dreaming of long hot summer days, lazy barbecues and deliciously cold beer!


Do you have a top tip or what is something that others might think is a little odd but you think is actually brilliant?

As a three-quarters Canadian-raised business, we can say with authority to that pouring maple syrup on your crispy bacon is about as good as it gets. Though it’s worth mentioning that all of our beers are vegan!

 

Do you have a recommendation for a good book/ tv series/ film/ podcast etc?

We are looking forward to Season 3 of The Trip with Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan, and are arguing over other awkward personality combinations we’d want to see eating, drinking and arguing their way through somewhere beautifully telegenic.

Thank you so much Xochitl!

 

 

We currently stock a range of tees, prints and beer glasses from Brixton Brewery. The Brewery taproom is open on Saturdays from 12-6pm and newly on Fridays from 6-10pm throughout summer.

And of course, bottles are available from all good retailers.

 

You can find out more about what the Brewery gets up to over at

www.brixtonbrewery.com

www.instagram.com/brixtonbrewery

Look out for my next blog post for recommendations of where to get the best beer in Brixton

Images from the Brixton Brewery site & Instagram 

 


Thomas Radclyffe: May Artist of the Month May 02 2017

As we all recover from a pretty wet bank holiday weekend many of us are returning to work within the inspiring structures of the city. We thought who better to catch up with than Illustrator Thomas Radclyffe! Radclyffe is an artist with a architectural background who creates stunning prints as often featuring memorable landmarks as imagined, sprawling cityscapes.

We talk everything from bedroom studios, sci-fi influences and even a recipe for a new way to use any left over hot cross buns you might still be able to grab hold of.

 

 

 

Tell us a bit about yourself. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

I suppose I have always been artistic and drew loads as a child, I initially went to university to become a graphic designer but fell into illustration when I realised that was how I approached every brief.
It wasn’t until the third year of my BA that architecture really became the focal point of my work and as a result I decided to push the work further through a MA course - which is where you guys found me!



What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

Architecture is obviously a big inspiration to me, but now days around 90% of what I draw is entirely imagined. I like to take bits I like from certain buildings and cut them together into something new.
I like that the drawn world does not have to follow the rules of physics, my drawings are crowded to an impossible sense with buildings often inhabiting the same physical space.

A lot of my influences come from artists who work in architecture. Piranesi, Hugh Ferriss, Lebbeus Woods…
I’m working on a more sci-fi influenced piece at the moment, so taking a lot of influence from pulp illustrators like Frank R Paul.


What is the process?

Everything is hand drawn with little real planning. I like there to be a bit of spontaneity so just fill in details straight with pen.
Usually there is a very rough sketch, which is quickly transferred to paper with the buildings and perspective roughly outlined - then I just fill in the blanks.

If you check my twitter or instagram (@tomradclyffe) I try and post process shots - when I remember!

Where are you based and how does that affect your work?

I’m based in West Hampstead and work from the corner of my bedroom. That obviously has a more physical affect on my work and limits the sizes of certain pieces.
I really want to work bigger and bigger, but in reality I don’t have anywhere to produce work on that scale.


What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

I have always been quite quiet and introverted, I like that drawing gives me a way of reaching and connecting with people, but also gives me a lot of time on my own to work on the images.


It's Spring! What's your favourite thing about this time of year?

I am so excited about the lighter warmer evenings. Winter seems to have lasted forever this year!

Do you have a top tip or what is something that others might think is a little odd but you think is actually brilliant? 

My girlfriend always says this is odd, but poached egg on a hot cross bun is definitely a favourite. But only at easter and only hot cross buns, tea cakes are not the same.



Do you have a recommendation for a good book/ tv series/ film/ podcast etc?

I’m listing to a lot of the Arrest All Mimics podcast at the moment, it has some great insights into illustration as an industry and really interesting guests.
I love the 99% Invisible podcast as well, the recent updates on Usonia were fascinating.

 

 

 

Thank you so much Tom!

 

You can currently purchase a range of Tom's prints online with more in store

Keep up to date with him over on his twitter

@tomradclyffe

or over at his website

http://www.tradclyffe.co.uk/

 


Selfie Clothing: April Artist of the Month April 01 2017

Well hello everyone and welcome to the first of our Spring edition of Artist of the Month where you get to meet one of our wonderful makers.This month we're saying a big howdy to lead designer Gemma, the creative genius behind Selfie Clothing. Combining clever, sleek design with the mischief and joy of wearing your own creation we learn about the ideas behind their star product, a white printed tee for kids that they (or the big kid inside of you) can colour in to completely personalise yourself.

 

Tell us a bit about yourself. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?


I am a mum of two boys, Theo and Casper age 7 and 4. I started my career in Marketing after University, focusing on the creative side of the profession and then moved into journalism. After having my children I wanted something of my own so I looked to my boys. I wanted to create something for them, something that they would love. Both love craft and both loved dressing up. Selfie designs started out by focusing on imaginative play such as police, fireman and Indians outlines. Those designs are still popular today but have inspired other ranges such as unicorn, mermaids and sea-creatures.


What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?


My children and their friends, I often worry where my ideas will come from once they are grown up. Mind you, the amount of times I've been asked for adult coloring in T’s maybe indicative of Selfie’s next direction!


What’s the process?


Our ideas are transported from pen to computer; my husband is a graphic designer so that really helps! We source our T-shirts from Leicestershire; they are specially made for us, as it was important to find a UK manufacturer. We then use a sublimation hand printing method to print the design on-to the T’. From there we package them up with the pens in our beautiful signature tube ready for the shelf.


Where are you based and how does that affect your work?


We are based in Newmarket, the Selfie team work in the upstairs of my husbands graphic design studio. It’s a very busy office, which is fun to work in. The office is 5 mins from our home so the commute is swift and my kids often come to work with me when need be.


What do you enjoy most about being a maker?


I’m in charge of my own world of work I can take the brand as far as I like depending on the amount of time I’m willing to dedicate. Unlike marketing and journalism, which is heavily deadline based. Seeing your ideas come to reality is amazing and of-course seeing the proud faces of the kids when they are wearing their T’s!

 

It's nearly Spring! What's your favourite thing about this time of year?

It’s got to be the light mornings and evenings.


Do you have a top tip or what is something that others might think is a little odd but you think is actually brilliant?


Its my dads actually ‘take your time and smell the roses’, its about taking in your surroundings, taking a step back and not rushing about so much. I need to remember this more ……

Do you have a recommendation for a good book/ tv series/ film/ podcast etc?


I’m such a sucker for those Netflix series. I call them a ‘ruin your life’ series, when you become so engrossed you find yourself going to sleep at 3pm and waking up knackered. At the moment its all about The Walking Dead, other faves are Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and Homelands.

 

Thanks so much Gemma!

 

 

You can find a range of colour in tees by Selfie Clothing in store now including superheroes, unicorns, pirates and mermaids to name a few in sizes to fit 2-8 year olds.

 

You can also find out more about the brand here here and here!

 

https://www.selfieclothing.co.uk/

https://www.instagram.com/Selfie_Clothing/

 https://twitter.com/selfie_clothing

(All pictures belong to Selfie Clothing and are used with their permission)


Hairy Jayne: March Artist of the Month March 01 2017

We come to another month and another fantastic and interesting artist to dish the dirt on.... Well, of course in this case no dirt involved!

Hairy Jayne is an independent, one woman, hair care and dressing business set up by the eponymous Jayne who I think we can all agree is hairy in all the best ways.
Jayne has been part of the Turps family for a long time. Like us she's also based in Brixton and has been the answer to many, many questions of "woah, just how does your hair smells so good??" (spoilers, it's her fantastic range of heat protecting hair perfume) 

So without further ado, here she is! 

 



(*pic courtesy of the Makerhood Connect)
 
Tell us a bit about yourself. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

I got into hairdressing after a very short-lived career in graphic design. When I went freelance and became Hairy Jayne a few years ago, I had a bit more time on my hands so I started to play around with mixing argan oil with essential oils to use in my hair… the obsession all escalated from there really!


What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

My hairdressing clients, my love of fragrant essential oils, old apothecaries, "saving the planet", travel.


What is the process?

Once the experiments are over and the recipes have been signed off by a cosmetic chemist, it’s actually just like cooking – there’s a lot of melting and mixing and pouring going on.

*

(*This picture is from a Make Your Own Hair Oil workshop ran by Jayne!)
Where are you based and how does that affect your making?
My studio is in Brixton, just round the corner from the Turpentine! It’s great, I can cut hair part time and mix potions part time, and being in Brixton, there’s never a dull moment.


What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

I love hearing that someone has enjoyed something that I’ve made, especially if it’s sorted out their hair problem and they’re back for some more. I also love the maker community, especially other makers I’ve met through doing markets like Crafty Fox, they’re all super friendly and supportive.


What was your biggest Aha! Eureka! Moment as a creative?

When I realised I could make hair products and design the logo and labels too. It felt like my two different career paths were converging. Coming up with the name Hairy Jayne was a bit of a moment too – I knew I loved it but wasn’t sure how it would be generally received. Turns out other people love it too.


Thanks so much Jayne!
You can follow what Hairy Jayne is up to at the locations below:
www.hairyjaynehandmade.co.uk
www.hairyjayne.co.uk
find @hairyjayne on twitter // instagram // facebook


Pirrip Press: February Artist of the Month February 09 2017

February is the lovely month of luurve. It's filled with the promise of a new year's beginnings, the daylight hours are getting longer combined with thinking about those we care about most... what's not to like?

Being partly in charge of The Turpentine is a bit like being an occasional parent to the 100+ independent artists and designers we work with. I feel a bit like they're our extended family. In this role as parent I'm aware that I'm not supposed to have favourites (but as it's the month of love lets just say that the following fellows are among those would get less chores from me!)

And so, without further ado, we thought we'd take a few minutes out of the print day to chat with Alex, half of the talented power twosome that is Pirrip Press. We talk about how she met George and started their business, the joys of being in Bristol and, of course, the usefulness of cable ties.  

 

Tell us a bit about yourselves. Can you recall how and why you became a maker / makers (I guess how did you meet!)?


We met in Bath, years ago – we were both on the illustration BA there, but in different years. We’ve since lived in Bath, Penzance and then back up the line to Bristol.
We both started off as illustrators, but have branched out and got stuck in to all sorts - graphic design, writing, prop + set building, ceramics, self publishing etc., making stuff basically. I guess we just like to create ‘things’.

We spent forever making stuff when we were little; George and her sister had a lucrative line in Rose Perfume. I used to make endless numbers for friendship bracelets and hair-scrunchies, and my sister, our pals and I ‘ran’ a newspaper for a while!

I guess that encouragement when we were young to be imaginative, and the satisfaction you get from making things with your hands – having something physical to show for your work – is what led us down this path.



What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?


Everything is inspiring! Our general experience of the world, really, is what influences the work; from being out and about, making observations about the things we see and experience, to watching TV, reading books, listening to the news, language, visiting museums, talking to people. Learning new stuff and interpreting it.

There’s a lot of the ‘natural world’ in our work. We are both keen on nature – whether watching documentaries or walking or visiting museums. It’s all the stories in there; different creatures with amusing habits, how they’re formed, how they interact with each other and in their habitat, how plants grow, what the weather does, and all the stories and quirks you learn when you start looking into it.

 

 

 


What is the process?


The process depends on what we’re working on, but in general, we’ll have an idea, make some notes or a sketch and then work it up. We use illustrator to make our images, and then if we’re screen-printing the product (which we do with most of our stuff), prepare stencils for the screens. Then we head into the studio and get printing!

I love printing. There’s something about making lots of things all the same and laying them out neat, which is just lush. And using actual ink and paper, doing it all with your hands and tools; things you can touch and smell. I think the result is distinctive.


Where are you based and how does that affect your work?


We’re based in Bristol. Which is amazing.

In terms of inspiration and conception of ideas, we’re in a brilliant vibrant city with loads going on to pique our interest. The creative community is great – loads of like-minded people, support for the arts, and general good vibes.

We print in a shared studio here in Bristol – Spike Print Studio – within cycling distance from home + the city centre. It’s a great space with professional facilities, and we’re lucky to share it with a great bunch of other printmakers.


What do you enjoy most about being a maker?


It’s great to be fully in charge of how we do things. From what materials we use to how the day is structured and what projects we work on. We are in charge so if we want to make something funny and frivolous we can and if we want to do something serious we can too.

It’s nice to work with our hands. It’s nice to listen to our music / pod-casts while we work. It’s nice to get mucky. There’s variety in our working days – sometimes at our desks, sometimes in our shop, sometimes printing, sometimes skiving off (mainly in the summer) and claiming it as research. It really is though.

Valentines is coming up, what are some of the things/people you luuuurve?


Tomatoes, swimming, each other, walking, going up to the allotment, our sisters, summertime afternoon drinking, summertime, wonders of nature, stories, pictures, learning new stuff, the rest of our families and pals, neat piles of multiples, correctly identifying smells, bread, the idiosyncrasies of the people we love, pizza, making pictures, new words.

Do you have a top tip or what is something that others might think is a little odd but you think is actually brilliant? (mine is a peanut butter and wotsit sandwich)

Hmmm, apple dipped in peanut butter is good too.

Cable ties are infinitely useful.

It’s surprising how many DIY things you can botch with matchsticks and toothpaste.

Ah… I’m out.

 

Thanks Alex!

You can check out more from Pirrip Press over on their website and Instagram

http://www.pirrippress.co.uk

@pirrip_press

Professional photos by Jo Hounsome Photography who you can find here

http://www.johounsomephotography.co.uk

 

You can follow my goings on over at @elsaghk on instagram ;)

Monstrous Pencil: January Artist of the Month January 04 2017

Well well welcome to 2017! To spark off a bit of colourful intrigue to the year we've been chatting to the glorious genius behind Monstrous Pencil, Galia! amongst other things she explains her tiny factory process and gives us all an amazing brownie recipe to try. 


Tell us a bit about yourselves. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?


Hello! I am Galia and I am a serial maker - my main job is writing music but the urge to make has spilt out into making prints, necklaces, bags, cards and anything else that night occur to me. I have always been obsessed with making things - my Mum always said that i never asked to make, I would shout “I need to make NOW” - and actually nothing’s changed!

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?


For my necklaces, probably abstract constructivist art, graphic design and great typography. I was brought up in a very creative household and that’s certainly played a big part in my obsession with making stuff too.

What is the process?


I spend a lot of time dreaming of colour combinations and form and then I start mixing colours and making beads. I use a type of plastic clay called polymer clay. Once I am happy with a shape or colour or pattern, I’ll assemble a couple of test necklaces. If i’m happy with them, then after that, it’s like a tiny factory here - lots of Spotify, tea and piles upon piles of blocks of clay everywhere. Heaven!

Where are you based and how does that affect your work?


I left London in the summer after living there my whole life and moved to Sussex with my family. I think perhaps my colours are becoming more muted but I’m not sure if that’s a direct result of my new rural life. 


What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

I love the momentum of it - that spark of a new idea is so compelling and then seeing it through from an idea to a real tangible object never fails to thrill me! Whether it’s a new album, piece of art or new product design, it’s that same feeling of excitement.

I know it's just gone, but go on, tell us, what is your favourite thing about Christmas?

My favourite thing about Christmas is the delicious nostalgia of remembering every previous Christmas and all the hysterical cosy family action. Aaaah…. Christmas…. hi there….
Do you have a top tip or what is something that others might think is a little odd but you
think is actually brilliant? (mine is a peanut butter and wotsit sandwich)
Those “three ingredient” Nutella brownies that sound too good to be true: THEY’RE NOT. They’re amazing. Impossible to balls up. 400g Nutella, 2 eggs, 65g self raising flour. Mix it all up and bake for half an hour on 170 degrees. Bloody hell - what alchemy IS THIS?
MMMMM! Thanks Galia!
You can follow what Galia get's up to here:
https://galiadurant.wordpress.com/
https://www.instagram.com/monstrouspencil/
https://twitter.com/galiadurant

Did You Know December: Libby Ballard Artist of the Month December 17 2016

We had an awesome chat with ceramisist extrodinaire Libby Ballard. She gave us a very detailed look into how she makes each of her pieces, explaining how they get their lovely, unique individuality and how the colours and techniques are inspired by nature.

 

 

Tell us a bit about yourselves. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

I have always loved making, it probably started from when I was tiny playing on our local beach for hours, digging, building and making a mess really! I was really lucky to have a fab ceramics tutor during GCSE times who was also a sculptor and made amazing life-size ceramic sheep. He was always so passionate and really encouraged us to experiment and try out different techniques.

 

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

The coast where I grew up on the Isle of Wight has always been my main inspiration. I just find any coastline so calming and inspiring and love watching the sea during different times of the year. This calming feeling I get from watching the sea I try and replicate in my products so that they have a similar effect when you use them. I love the colours and textures of the coast and always try and bring this through in my work.  

 

 

What is the process?

Wedge up a blend of 2 stoneware clays to get the speckle effect I am after. Weigh out the clay balls so that I am starting with the same amount of clay and once again wedge up so they are all a consistent texture and ready to throw with, without any air bubbles.

-I then throw onto a wooden batt on the wheel head which I have engraved space to place small white kitchen tiles into so that I can remove each tile from the wheel without having to touch the wet work.

- Each piece is thrown by centering the clay, throwing a cylinder first and then gently pulling out to the correct width. They are then left loosely covered overnight to stiffen up.

- The next day when they are leather hard and can be touched without losing their shape it is time to turn the bases and stamp. This involves taking away excess clay from the base so that they are all smooth and uniform. This also helps to compress the clay so that cracks do not form.

- I then leave then to dry slowly covered lightly with plastic. If they dry to fast and uneven the rim dries fastest which causes pressure on the base which can result in cracking.

- Once fully dry they go into first firing to 1000 degrees over 10 hours and left to cool slowly  in the kiln which can take up to 24 hours.

- They are then removed from the kiln and any rough parts sanded off.

- My glazes I mix up with a range of raw materials and oxides for colouring, I often play around with new glazes and test out different percentages of colour. Each glaze when mixed up needs to be left to settle for at least 1 hour and then sieved 3 times through a specific size mesh.

- I then pour clear glaze into the inside of each pot and wipe back and dribbles around the outside rim.

- They are then dipped up to the rim in my light green glaze and left for the glaze to soak in and dry.

- They are then dipped again in my deep blue halfway up the pot.

- Each pot then needs the glaze on the base wiping back with a clean damp sponge and 1/2 cm up the side as the glaze melts in the kiln it will stick to the kiln shelf if enough glaze not removed.

- Once all bases have been check I can then load the kiln for 2nd firing as my work is all fired to stoneware temperature it goes up to 1260 degrees over 11 hours and again left to cool for about 24 hours before they can be removed.

- When removed they are checked once more and bases sanded back where necessary.

- Then bubble wrapped and sent off to their new homes!

 

 

Where are you based and how does that affect your work?

I am now based at The Pound Arts in Wiltshire, I love being back in the countryside having recently moved out of London. Although I am not by the sea, I still find just having open space around me so much easier to be inspired and productive. Having moved out of London I can now afford to have my own studio space and this in itself has given me the opportunity to expand my business and create and experiment more!

 

 

What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

That every day is different! Even when making a big batch for an order and throwing the same form, there are always different factors. I just love making and having a practical and creative job, couldn't imagine doing anything else! It is also great meeting new makers at different markets everyone is always so friendly and it always great to get out of the studio and talk to like minded makers!

 

 

What is your favourite thing about Christmas?

Family and Food! It is always amazing when I get on the boat home to the island after my busiest months leading up to the hectic christmas selling period! This is always my put my feet up and chill time, the only time of the year I take a good few days off and don't feel guilty about being lazy!

 

 

Thank you so much Libby!

 

 

Libby Ballard Ceramics

www.libbyballard.co.uk

07880990840

 

Check out Libby's updates on Instagram! I'm paticularly drooling over this lovely looking hot choc...

Elsa, signing off for now!

 


Yukiko Studio- MEET THE MAKER OCTOBER October 01 2016

There's no doubt that Yukiko Ikehara's products put a smile on your face with their simple splash of colour and playful graphic designs. Every element is beautifully crafted from the fine stitching to the gorgeously tactile cloth bases. She took some time out of the studio to answer a few questions for us.



Tell us a bit about yourselves. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

I am a screen printer and make products out of cloth such as zip bag pouches, tea cosies, oven gloves. I also design and print cards.

I'm from Japan and studied fine art sculpture where I often used cloth as my material combined it with a love of drawing.

One day in 2012, I woke up with an idea, “what if I sell my hand-made crafts at a local Christmas Market?”

Then I made embroidered cushion covers and small zip pouches using my knowledge of sewing that I learned from being small. I had already learned some technical sewing and pattern cutting at evening courses as part of a general interest in making my own clothes.

At the Christmas market, people bought my stuff! It was such a joy, I couldn't believe it.

After that I wanted to learn screen printing so I could add my own hand drawn designs into my products. I learned some screen printing techniques at workshops, but I mainly tought myself at the screen printing studio as I went along. I'm constantly learning new tips from mistakes, which is the best way to learn in the end.


Becoming a maker may be a side street of being a fine artist, but I really like sewing and screen printing, so this combination is really working for me.



What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

I like simple, practical every day things combined with retro and timeless design. Visiting car boot sales, jumble sales and vintage markets are the best inspirations and fun. I think London is a great place for that.

What is the process?
-Draw the design by hand
-Transfer the design to clear film to make positive
-Coat the screen
-Expose the screen
-Measure and cut the cloth
-Screen print the cloth
-Iron the cloth to set the design permanently
-Sewing; adding linings, padding, zips etc

 


What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

To see the final product and someone actually buys it.
Finding my products on the shelves in Turpentine!

 

Thank you so much Yukiko for taking the time to chat to us!

 

You can find out more about her here at her website

https://yukikostudio.wordpress.com/about/

 

 


Daniela Rubino -Meet the Maker AUGUST August 01 2016

Daniela Rubino

In honour of it being summer and us looking to create an oasis of calm, this month we've caught up with Daniela Rubino; the artist behin our tactile and very desk worthy concrete creations. 

 

Tell us a bit about yourselves. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

I studied Fine Art sculpture at Central St Martins throughout art school I used concrete and metal to create my sculptures. I have always been drawn to these materials because of their high compressive strength; industrial aesthetics and they both can be highly manipulated into endless shapes/sizes. I like to project the idea of stability and support. The reason I like to project this concept stems from my personal support structures around me, which provide the basis for progression, development and growth. I then decided to make smaller pieces using concrete and metal. These then became home ware products. I like to think of them small pieces of accessible art for the home.

 

 

What is the process?

Each concrete pot is individual, with different markings and voids. My moulds are either pre-formed or handmade using melamine wood or latex. The latex moulds are needed for products that are more detailed such as the concrete skull. The wooden moulds are used for more basic shapes such as slabs, cubes and hexagons. The possibilities are endless with concrete; it can take the form of many different shapes. Once the moulds are filled with concrete they are left to set over 24 hours. Once set, the molds are removed and the concrete can be lightly sanded. In some cases the concrete needs to be sealed, either to enhance the colour or to give it a shiny/matte glaze.

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

I look at artists for inspiration. My favorite artists are Richard Deacon and Richard Serra. As they both manipulate materials in incredible ways. My favourite piece of Decaon's is the Laocoon. He steam bends wood to make it twist and curl like waves, the material completely manipulated by the maker. Richard Serra mainly uses steel in his works. I like the scale of Serra’s work, it dwarfs you and you are kind of controlled by his huge sculptures.Another big inspiration is Tao Ando, a self-taught architect who mainly uses concrete. My favourite building of his is Church of Light. The simplicity of his work is what I like. My other inspiration is my dad, an amazing carpenter. He gives me a lot of motivation.

 

www.danielarubino.co.uk


MEET THE MAKER - JULY July 01 2016

Last month we had the day where we honour our Father's with beer and choc and a funny card. The undisputed Turps champ of humour has to be none other than Jamie Kyle and funnily enough, he's our Artist of the Month for July.

Alongside our chat Jamie told us about his little roller coaster journey after a project of his found internet viral fame. Previously catching the attention of news outlets including Buzzfeed the Mirror, he's now part of a documentary about young people and the internet which will debut at the end of July (read more about it here if you fancy). 

 

 

Tell us a bit about yourselves. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

Hello! I'm Jamie, an illustrator and Artist residing and from London. To be honest there never really was a turning point for me as I was always drawing and making things from a young age- I'm from a very creative family so I guess it's been ingrained into my personality from the offset!

 

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

I like to focus on humour and an element of fun in my work- everything else is so serious I want to enjoy what I do! Disruption, word play and puns tend to crop up a lot in my work. I'm a huge admirer of David Shrigley, Paul Davis and Mcbess. I also get a few ideas from film, nature, comedy and recently; food and drink.

 

What is the process?

It can vary depending on the project but I do my best work in the early mornings and the late evenings. To get started I always doodle and scribble lots of (mostly useless) sketches. It gets my creative juices flowing and really loosens me up. From there, I'll do a variety of initial ideas with some creative thinking exercises until I get excited about one. Always have to be excited about the idea. Then off I go! What do you enjoy most about being a maker? I enjoy it because it doesn't feel like work! Feels very natural and more importantly, fun! I do enjoy the element of creative control and freedom- when you know and feel something works, it works.

 

http://jamiekyle.co.uk/

 

 


Lily King -Meet The Maker JUNE June 01 2016

June sees us saying hello to Jewellery designer Lily King. Her pieces are ever popular for their elegant and delicate wearability. 

Tell us a bit about yourselves. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

My name’s Lily, I’m a self taught jewellery designer / maker based in North West London. I used to work in a lovely little boutique on Portobello Road (many moons ago), and would help choose the jewellery we stocked there. I started to learn what all the components / stones were, and thought I’d give it a go making my own pieces to sell there. After a while of selling my pieces at the boutique in Portobello, the designs were becoming increasingly popular and customers were wondering if I had an online shop, so tah dah – Lily King jewellery was born!

 

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

My style is quite simple & classic. However, i'm never without a pop of colour / vibrant print! My jewellery designs reflect this – I like minimalistic pieces that can be worn day to day without having to worry about whether or they'll go with what you're wearing, but have a little bit of quirk or beautiful colourful gemstones.

 

What is the process?

I’ll purchase lot's of supplies and beautiful stones and lay them all out on a big table and then pick and choose bits and pieces, seeing which colours work really well together and slowly start to build up a collection – it’s definitely the most satisfying part of the process!  What do you enjoy most about being a maker? The best thing about being a maker is getting great feedback from my lovely customers! You also can't beat being lucky enough to be able to spend your days being creative and playing around with gorgeous gemstones!

 

 

You can see more of Lily's work in-store and in our online shop!


Alfred & Wilde -Meet the Maker MAY May 01 2016

Meet the Maker Simon Mitchell

This month we've been chinwagging about bold graphics with East London based lovely and founder of Alfred & Wilde; Simon Mitchell





Tell us a bit about yourselves. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

I studied Fine Art at university, and my work focused on printmaking and big graphic 3D lightboxes. However I worked in marketing for a few years after university before deciding to set up Alfred & Wilde in 2013. I wanted to find an outlet for my creativity but also offer a range of design-led homewares that were a bit quirkier that the usual design shop offerings.

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

My first collection was inspired by my love of London and its architecture, particularly East London. Recent collections have continued to be influenced by London, like my collaborations with the Science Museum and the Southbank Centre. I’m still inspired by the city and its energy and fashion, and try to show that through my designs - they are all quite bright and bold!




What is the process?

I do nearly all my designs on the computer now. I draw some buildings by hand, but they’ll be scanned into my Mac eventually. I don’t consider myself an expert in graphic design software, but I like the creative restrictions that this creates: it forces me to adopt certain styles and helps avoid endless iterations of designs. I then either screen print or Giclee print my designs.

What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

I love the freedom being self-employed affords me. I’m not a morning person, so I can start late and work late easily. And I love hanging out in my studio – having worked in an office, the excitement I get about heading to the studio to work now is very novel! Of course, the thrill I get when someone buys my creations is what fuels me to keep going.

 






MEET THE MAKER APRIL - Joanna Corney April 04 2016

 

Meet the Maker - Joanna Corney

After a little break post Christmas we're back with our 'Meet the Maker' series, this month we meet the super talented Brighton artist Joanna Corney.

 

Tell us a bit about yourselves. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

I studied Textile Design at Nottingham Trent University and specialised in print. I knew by the end of University that I wanted to design and sell my own products instead of working for a company. I started the business by printing my products on my kitchen table and it grew from there!

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

Cities and their architecture has always been a big inspiration for me, and I am fascinated by all the different styles that there are. Living in Brighton there are so many interesting buildings, and my first collection concentrated on this. My Deco collection has focused more on Art deco style architecture, and the patterns and motifs that are found within those buildings.


What is the process?

I start by producing initially drawings, which I then tinker with on the computer and play about with different scales, repeats and colours. Once I am happy with the designs they are either screen printed onto fabric or digitally printed onto products like our wallpapers and coasters. A lot of my fabric products including the cushions and lampshades are made and sewn in our studio.

What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

The best thing about being a maker is being able to see your initial ideas grow and change, and finally turn into a usable product. I also love the making process and am always looking to learn new processes and techniques to use within my business.


Colin Waters -Meet the Maker January January 05 2016

COLIN WATERS

This month we meet someone who's been a big inspiration to me personally, he even sparked my love of making things from an early age. Not only that but I have more than a few custom make pieces of this furniture in my home. It's my dad, Colin Waters, now on sale at the Turpentine! 

Tell us a bit about yourself. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

I’ve always enjoyed making things with my hands, even as a boy woodworking was my favourite subject at school. However, it wasn’t until after my children were born that I really started making again. I slowly built up my collection of tools and started making furniture for the home. When I retired in 2005, I decided to build my own workshop and fully equipped it. Since then I’ve been making bespoke pieces of furniture for my family as well as some commissions, and more recently smaller items now selling at the Turpentine.

Colin Waters Woodwork


What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

Wood is such a beautiful material, both visually and to work with, so much of the inspiration for each piece comes from the wood itself. I look at a piece of wood and think “what can I make from this” so as to use the wood to best effect. Also, I’m strongly influenced by contemporary design, such as, the simple lines in the Scandinavian style. A lot of my earlier work draws influences from the Arts and Craft movement, which was concerned with the simplification of Victorian design, and where hand-crafted work was prized over factory made objects.

What is the process?

The work I’m currently selling with the Turpentine involves fairly simple processes compared to the my furniture.
The animal Jigsaws start off as flat pieces of wood overlaid with an animal design. I use a scroll saw, which is a saw with a very fine blade enabling me to cut the intricate jigsaw pieces. Each one is then sanded down and sealed to bring out the grain.
The jigsaws are part educational, spelling out the animal’s name as part of its body. So I use bright primary colours in child safe paint to make these stand out.
My handmade Christmas Decorations are turned on a lathe by eye. So each one ends up slightly different and unique.

Colin Waters Woodwork

What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

For me it’s the design as well as the making but what I really love is the joy of the final stages, applying the wax or varnish and seeing the grain and colour of the wood come out on the finished piece.

Colin Waters Wood Work


Lucy Loves This -Meet the Maker DECEMBER December 01 2015

LUCY LOVES THIS

 This month we meet Lucy, the lady behind Lucy Loves This and the now iconic Brixton B print. 

Tell us a bit about yourselves. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

 I’ve been working as a graphic designer for 10 years, and spend most of my life working to a clients brief. So when I went freelance 5 years ago, I decided it was time to start designing things I liked for a change as well! It was supposed to just be a hobby, but has somehow become my day job!

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

I love type, it pervades my work and I'm a little obsessed by it! I worked as a book cover designer in my twenties where I was able to let my obsession flourish and when you look at my work you'll see the majority of my prints use type in one way or other; whether to create a map or just focus on one letter.

 London has also been a massive influence for me, especially my little pocket of it in Brixton. It is such an incredible city - full of weird and wonderful things to keep you inspired.

 What is the process?

 All of my illustrations are initially hand drawn, sketched first and then finalised in ink. I then scan them in and do abit of computer tinkering to finish them off. The majority of my prints are then hand screenprinted.

 

 What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

 I love coming up with new ideas and working out how I could turn them into a product that someone might want in their home. I also feel very lucky that I get to spend most days drawing, which has always been my favourite thing to do.


Materia Rica- Meet the Maker NOVEMBER November 01 2015

MATERIA RICA  ( formerly Manolo ) 

This month we've been catching up with Marta and Joan from Materia Rica, who you might know as Manolo. Together they create unique modern jewellery which we always end up lusting after! 

Materia Rica

Tell us a bit about yourselves. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

We have always loved making things! From cooking special recipes to preparing a homey christmas tree.. Making things is great fun and it’s something we will never stop doing :) We get on really well and making things together is fantastic!

Marta from a very early age always had a crayon or something to draw with on her hands. After studying a MA in drawing & painting her passion for making expanded. She now combines her career as an painter artist with commissions involving creative wall murals, ceramics, animation & drawing on lots of paper. A large part of her day is with the most creative and hands on side of Materia Rica.

Joan always loved making, prototyping and testing ideas. In fact he went and studied product design at Central Saint Martins. His little part of the studio is full of machines, artifacts & prototypes. Within a chaotic order, drawings, screws & bits of wood live in peace on his working desk.

We love your new name, what does MATERIA RICA mean? 

Materia Rica is both elated matter and conscious material. It is caring for what we do. From the Earth that provides us with wood and hands and colours — to you and your love for wholeness. Materia rica is hope, need and wish. It is experience, happiness and beauty. It is simply what life is made of.” With these statements Materia Rica seeks to be the perfect home for current and forthcoming projects.

 What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

We feel inspired pretty much everywhere, as self employed you need to continuously be creative and able to find inspiration all around. Our jewellery is created and arranged by collections and we try to work with concepts and ideas we feel identified.

Inspiration and influence walk together for us. We love the sea, nature, plants and also great artistic movements, especially those that emerged on the 20th century & often developed in urban environments.

Materia Rica

What is the process?

Though the key to success is better kept secret, we want to share with our friends and customers how we work at Materia Rica.

The designs are at present always based on Marta Chojnacka drawings. She has such a crazy desk when she’s working on a new collection — scraps of paper with colorful sketches, a palm leave, a scarf with a curious pattern, a picture of an inspiring place… and crayons everywhere, even inside her teacup.

There’s also a part of the duty performed with the help of our binary partners. Pictures are digitized, final designs take shape on a screen and walnut pieces are laser cut in our workshop.

When that’s done, the magic starts. Each jewellery piece is painted, polished, mounted and varnished by hand — which makes them all unique. Our first class products and skilled craftswomen (it’s proven girls are more patient) are our best quality asset.

What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

Probably knowing that what you are making with tender love and care, with the best of your intentions - will be worn, used & enjoyed by someone else. It is great to make things and the positive feedback you get from clients is with no doubt the most rewarding part of it all!

 

 


The Pattern Guild -Meet the Maker OCTOBER October 14 2015

The Pattern Guild

This month we meet Amber and Fergus who created The Pattern Guild, a Peckham based design studio creating hand printed products with bold, beautiful and timeless geometric patterns.

Tell us a bit about yourselves. Can you recall how and why you became a maker? 

Amber: Back when I was little I would make clothes for my dolls because the ones they sold were all frilly and synthetic. Then I started knitting and making clothes for myself and never stopped. It's been a lifelong process of teaching myself different craft techniques to get to the point where it's like being fluent in another language. Like a non verbal tactile language, achieved through years of experimenting with many different materials. 
Fergus: From a young age I was always drawing, skateboarding, making music and juggling. At fifteen, I became very interested in patterns and graphic art, spending hours making abstract drawings and collages using simple lines and shapes. My work is ever evolving, but still deep rooted in early ways of making.  

 Pattern Guild

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

Amber: anything grid based, a nice shape that can be tessellated, or an image that has a bold colour palette. I like to combine computer aesthetics with traditional craft techniques because they both start with a grid and can easily translate into one another.

Fergus: I'm inspired by music, design and architecture. The grid has also become a huge part of my work, allowing me to organise my designs and turn them into solid repeating patterns.  

Pattern Guild products

What is the process?

Amber: When your designing for screen printing applied to fabric you have to think in layers, as each colour is printed separately. I use grids and basic geometric shapes in different combinations and layers to build up a pattern.
Every now and again I go through magazine adverts picking out pages with good colours in them. Then in photoshop I can pick out 5-10 colour swatches from each to play with.
Fergus: To begin with, I like to work quickly producing lots of ideas using pen, paper cuts and the computer. I then go back through the work with a fresh set of eyes, and start pulling out designs which stand out to me. I then focus my attention onto each individual idea and start to edit, re-work and refine until I have produced a final result which I’m happy with.

     

What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

Amber: having control over the making process means you can keep the quality level high. I'm always honing my techniques and testing the products to improve how it's made and how it functions. 
I really have these particular making skills because I can't bear to throw anything away, I like to break things apart and fix them if I can. So by repairing or deconstructing things to make them better, I have gradually gained more making skills. 
My making process now is more like problem solving, the end function gives you your design parameters and you have to figure out the steps from fabric to finished product.
Pattern Guild

Sara Lois -Meet the Maker SEPTEMBER September 01 2015

Tell us a bit about yourselves. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

My favourite subject at school was always Design and Technology however I didn’t really discover jewellery until my second year studying Product Design at Bangor University. From then I completed various internships with jewelers and was fascinated with all the tools and precious materials. I knew then that I’d found an area within design that I loved. Not having studied a specific jewellery course I learnt so much from those internships and the rest I teach myself along the way! I still have a lot to learn! I’ve also recently completed a Masters in Business and Entrepreneurship to help with the business side of things.

  

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

All my pieces tend to have a connection with Wales and my Welsh culture and heritage. These inspirations may not be obvious as ideas evolve into my finished items which are often modern and contemporary in feel. The current Pontio collection stocked at Turpentine was inspired by the structure of a bridge that links the Isle of Anglesey and the North Wales mainland. The bar structure in the bridge is used as an exploration into form, repetition and arrangement.
 

What is the process?

All my items start out as either wire or sheet metal which is then cut, formed and soldered into various forms. I mainly work in silver with accents of oxidisation and gold. I’m not the biggest fan of sketching ideas, I’ll perhaps create one quick one in order to make sense of the idea in my head but then I’ll get straight to making it and work it out form there.

 

  

 

What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

The best bit of being a maker is making something! I love seeing and idea come to life and someone loving it enough to buy it and wear it.

Rosie Brewer -Meet the Maker AUGUST August 01 2015

ROSIE BREWER

Tell us a bit about yourself. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

I grew up surrounded by the smell of fresh sawdust and damp pine. When I was young my parents owned a sawmill and made sheds, beach huts and animal shelters. I spent a lot of my childhood climbing on piles of logs, drilling holes, hammering nails and attempting to make bird boxes. Years later I went to university to study 3D Design and rediscovered my enjoyment of working in wood. I graduated from Camberwell College of Arts in 2012 and set up a little workshop with some tools I had inherited, bought or was given.

      

 

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work? 

I guess the main inspiration is the wood itself, the fact that no two pieces are the same. I like my work to have an un-fussy, simple aesthetic, with clean lines and familiar shapes. I see myself as acting as a facilitator in allowing the wood to show off its natural beauty. I love to allow the grain of the wood to dictate the shapes of the work I create. I am also inspired by other wood-workers, David Nash and Ariele Alasko are two personal favourites.

  

 

What is the process?

I have a few templates of different size boards which I lay on the wood, once I find an aesthetically pleasing section for the template, I draw around it onto the piece of wood. Then using a bandsaw I cut around the shape and sand it all down afterwards. The boards are then smothered in several coats of food-safe mineral oil which not only brings out the grain but prevents moisture absorbance and improves the woods resistance to grease and stains.

 

 

What do you enjoy most about being a maker? 

Being a maker is such a rewarding way to earn a living. Seeing a piece develop from the initial log or rough-sawn plank of wood, to the final oiling, packaging and in a shop knowing it will be finally used and enjoyed in someone’s home. I enjoy the fact that no two days are the same and I can have flexible working hours.

I love the smell of wood and how the different patterns and textures never stop surprising me. There is unlimited potential for exploration and this means it never gets boring.

 


Alice Tams Birds in Hats -Meet the Maker JULY July 08 2015

Tell us a bit about yourselves. Can you recall how and why you became a 
maker? 
 
It's hard to pin point a particular day when I decided to become one. The inclination was always there, I've loved to paint/draw/illustrate/create since I can remember, but deciding to make it my full-time vocation crept up on me. It was a process of working full-time at a pub, as well as illustrating, for a long time. Working very hard & dropping shifts when I could & replacing them with artistic work. I'm all for the dramatic 'quit your job' stories but I was pretty cautious - I quit once I had got down to one shift a week!
What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?
Definitely birds! - I have more bird encyclopaedias and guides than is sensible. I'm inspired largely by botanical & scientific illustrations, particularly Audubon's birds & I love the kind of colour you find in Hockney and Rousseau paintings. 
 
What is the process?
I'm usually working from 5 or so pictures of a bird from various books and photos & I'll sketch out a pose that I think suits the character that I'm trying to make. Then when I'm happy with the composition I'll get it on the lightbox and use a fine calligraphy pen (my current favourite are Kuretake Zig letter pens - try them, you'll never go back) to do all the detail work in on bristol board. I let that dry and get my vast collection of pencil crayons (Prismacolors or Polychromos usually) out and start sharpening! I layer up the colours, going from light to dark, I get through a lot of crayons... There's very little digital manipulation, I just scan it in and clean up the background, adjust the layers etc. 
               
What do you enjoy most about being a maker?
Doing something that makes me very happy, more than I possibly could if it wasn't my job. Even when I've had a month of solid emails, accounts and spreadsheets I have to remind myself I have it pretty good.
Oh and I get to listen to podcasts/watch tv shows while I work. That's a luxury!

Charlotte Farmer Meet the Maker: JUNE June 02 2015

Tell us a bit about yourselves. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

I always loved drawing & colouring in, there never seemed to be enough paper around so I'd end up using tissue boxes or whatever other scraps of paper and card I could get my felt tip covered hands on...that led to a fine art degree specialising in printmaking which then led to a career based panic (I knew I wanted to do something art based and that I didn't want to work for anyone else) so I eventually ended up doing an MA in illustration at St Martins...which was the best thing I've ever done.

Now I spend my days drawing and colouring in with my cat Margo sleeping next to me on her spotty cushion. When I need to get screen printing I use Spike Print Studio in Bristol.

 

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

I'm interested in collections of things (animals, objects, musicians, sounds) snippets of conversation, music and grumpy looking animals.

I love Andy Warhol's work , especially his early illustrations with his mum's beautiful handwriting. Marcel Dzama – his drawings and strange scenarios, Davis Hockney, Cy Twombly – for scribbles & mark making.

      

What is the process?

It all starts with slightly wonky but detailed drawings which I make using carbon paper to add an element of unpredictability. I scan the drawings and work out the composition & layers using my very basic photoshop skills – then I screen print. My box of printing inks contains an ever increasing collection of bluey greys along with a vivid range of fluorescents and sparkly metallics (made to a top secret recipe).

       

What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

Everyday is different and I get to do the things I love doing – drawing & screen printing. 


Rich Fairhead -Meet the maker: MAY May 08 2015

This month we're getting to know illustrator Richard Fairhead.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

I can remember drawing dinosaurs and animals when I was 7 or 8, pretty much doing the same thing now. I studied Illustration and Animation at Kingston Uni, and I’ve been a full time Illustrator for around 4 years now. Plus, I can’t really doing anything else.

 

    

 

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

I get a lot of inspiration from friends who are getting by in a creative career. I’m part of two collectives, one with my Brother Chris El Famoso, and the other Brothers Of The Stripe, a collective of 12 male designers & illustrators.

Other things that influence me - hand drawn type, risographs, London, rum, sailor tattoo’s, Day of The Dead, skulls, scummy pubs, 50’s ad’s and decent films.

 

 

 

What is the process?

It depends on the job. I work for various clients, that includes advertising, editorial, murals, tattoo designs, animation, prints and clothing. Each job always starts with a brief, sometimes really detailed, others are really open.

Then I have a scribble with my pens, send it to the client, get feedback and carry on with that. The fun jobs are the ones where I’m left to do what i want....

 

   

 

What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

Working for myself means it’s really bloody flexible, whether it be working on a few projects at the same time, or being able to work on a self project if there’s not much on. I like the fact that one day I can be drawing Walter White, and the next day, a big mural in a rainy part of Birmingham with a group of designers. Plus you can choose your hours if a sneaky hangover creeps up on a weekday.


Cha Com Letras -Meet the maker APRIL April 13 2015

Cha Com Letras

Tell us a bit about yourselves. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

We both studied Design together and feel comfortable working in a team. James’s
area of study was Illustration while mine was Graphic Design. After working together on a range of products we realised the potential of our work, took the plunge and decided to create our own business. Chá com Letras (tea with letters in Portuguese) initially started as our own children's book publishing label with the launch of The Grey Go-Away Bird. We quickly expanded to a wider range of illustration-led products.

 

        

  

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

We are serial collectors in real life and this interest rubbed on our design aesthetic.
Our main inspiration comes from our roots and childhood mixed with our personal
interests. James – who illustrates all our products – is particularly inspired by outsider art, art
naïve, curiosities and anything off the beaten track. 

         

 


What is the process?

Our processes are often quite varied, sometimes it starts with Joana spotting
potential product ideas, or with something James has already drawn based on one
of his interests and looking at how – if at all – it could be applied on an item. Once
we are happy with the final drawings we proceed to the next step of layouts and
how best it might be applied to a product. Generally at the same time of creating the drawings we speak with manufacturers and suppliers to find someone we are happy to work with, this part is usually the hardest and probably takes the longest amount of time.For some items such as our fabric-based goods, we outsource the printing, but when it comes to the cutting, stitching and sewing that is down to us.

       

 


What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

It’s hard to say what we enjoy the most about being a maker, getting excited about
the prospect of what we will make, seeing the finished product for the first time, or
just by having the opportunity to work for ourselves.


Where the Beginners Jewellery Course could take you... March 18 2015

We have so many lovely people coming to learn something new, expand their knowledge or just enjoy being creative at our workshops, Lyndon is one such customer. We have had the pleasure of his company at two of our Jewellery workshops, Beginners Jewellery Making Course and Wax Carving - make a silver ring. We thought it would be great to hear from him about why he chose the Turpentine to come and learn more about his passion and take a look at what he's been making since - it's pretty impressive!

 

 

I've loved wearing, buying and looking at jewellery since my teens. Silver and gold have accompanied every phase and trend I've grown in and out of. I love creative hobbies - I've always sewn and embellished fabric, customised, altered and made clothing, I have also tried my hand at felting.

I wear a lot of jewellery so I'm always looking out for new and interesting things. Some of my jewellery I put together and I've become a little collector of The Great Frog jewellery with about 15 pieces. I make and braid pieces I find and make into necklaces and bracelets but the missing element was me being able to make or fix the silver components. This was one reason I wanted to look out for a workshop course.

 

 

I've been turned off going to institutional short courses as these sometimes feel more like cash cows for universities. Also these as ridiculously expensive and over subscribed. I stumbled across the Turpentine and the sandwich board outside was advertising the course. I loved the concept and work inside and meeting the girls who run the shop was a great pull to go ahead and sign up. Those reasons plus big encouragement from my Boyfriend were why I signed up. I have previously shopped around for workshops but premises and establishments were just not as attractive or to put it simply fun.

I've watched plenty of videos and read 'how to' websites but this wasn't an easy way to start. Having Jude instruct and coach was more than valuable. To be shown the fundamentals and more importantly trouble shooting advice was the best way to start me off. The classes were talkative and we were free to ask as many questions as we needed.

 

 

After this I started to put my kit together and gave everything I'ld learnt a go by myself. Putting everything Jude had taught me into practice was rewarding and with the addition of Youtube tutorials to try a few more tricks my jewellery making was on the road. I also had the opportunity to take the wax carving classes at the Turpentine. This was another skill I really wanted to learn and also gave me a chance to ask Jude a list of trouble shooting questions I've built up. Having interaction with other creative classmates and Jude was great fun and a nice way to socialise too.

Since these classes I have been practicing a lot, making pieces for myself friends and family and many people have been open to paying for the materials to help me get started. My next step is to get my own line going, set up a website and online shop, learn and gain more skills and advance however I can with this hobby.

You can check out more of Lyndon's work on his Instagram here 


I Am Acrylic -Meet the maker MARCH March 07 2015

I Am Acrylic

Tell us a bit about yourselves. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?           

Hello! We are Brendan Fan and Ruth Williams and we make jewellery and other bits and bobs using our trusty fretsaw, under the name I Am Acrylic!

 We met at art school in 1999 but only made the step to start working full-time together on I Am Acrylic about 4 years ago when I quit my day job. Brendan had been running the business as a very part-time venture for about 6 years before that, and since we joined forces I like to think that it's gone from strength to strength ; )

Brendan says that he started making 'things' just to show me that he could do it too ; )

He always loved to draw but didn't really make crafty stuff but he says he was sick of hearing me always going on about what I'd made in my Dad's shed when I was 12! (My Dad used to be a CDT teacher so always had load of tools at home).

I'd be saying "look at the enamelled ring I made", "look at this mechanical toy I made" and "do you like my replica miniature Athenian temple!?" blah, blah, blah!....

So about 10 years ago, Brendan made me a bird shaped key-ring for my birthday from some acrylic we'd found on the street, using a fretsaw we'd borrowed from my Dad. The buyer in the shop where I worked said we should try to sell them....and I Am Acrylic kind of started then! Our bird design has changed quite a lot since then!

 

 

 

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

We fondly remember the smell of cutting out and sanding acrylic key-rings in CDT at school - and making a clock - so quite often when we're working we're transported back to the '90's - not least of all when we're listening to Absolute 90's on the radio too! Although, we've had trouble getting that channel recently, which is a bit worrying!

We design quite a few things initially as presents for friends so they are a big part of our influences! Our bucket & spade range was a gift for a friend who loves Whitstable and our Saturn necklace was initially made for a friend who said it would go really well with our rocket range! 

 

 

Other inspiration comes from:

Childhood memories of living in the countryside.

Vintage travel posters.

Vintage postcards.

Our own travels by car and train.

Rural and industrial English landscapes play a large part.

Quite often the material itself and the colours can influence the design and the process limits the shapes that we use as well.

 

What is the process?

We draw out the shapes we've designed onto big sheets of acrylic and then we, well, Brendan most of the time, cuts out all of the components individually, on our mechanical fretsaw. (Even including the little trees and bird beaks!)

 

 

 

Once all the pieces are cut out, we spend time cleaning up all of the edges using needle files and wet & dry paper before finally peeling off the protective layer from the surface and gluing them together. We then add brooch pins, earrings, etc or drill holes to add a necklace.

Cutting each component out individually does sometimes limit how complicated we can be with the design. I'm a terrible one for coming up with really complex drawings of what I'd like to make and Brendan just gives me a look as if to say - Are you serious?!

We spend quite a lot of time paring down our designs to make them into something that we can realistically 'manufacture' at a reasonable price and in volume!

 

What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

Experimenting is probably something that we both spend too much time doing when we should really be knuckling down and making stock and orders of our existing range!

But that is the fun of having all the equipment out and ready - you can just jump on the saw and cut out a flower and see if it works - or we can make silly Christmas presents for our nieces and nephews : ) (how to tie your shoelace aids for example!).

Also making commissions is something that we both enjoy, making someone else's ideas come to life is really nice, one of our faves is this sausage dog!

 

 

Brendan also really enjoys doing our self assessment tax return - he would like it to be more frequent than once a year I think, he loves making spreadsheets!

 


Rolfe & Wills Meet the maker: FEBRUARY February 05 2015

An interview with Rolfe & Wills

This month we're catching up with the creative talent behind Rolfe & Wills, Alice Rolfe, to find out what makes her tick. Alice spent 10 years studying Fine Art, Sculpture and Print in London, teaching and exhibiting before creating Rolfe & Wills. Alice's stunning designs play with both colour and shape to create a range which is bright and modern.

 

Tell us a bit about yourselves. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

I’m Alice Rolfe of Rolfe & Wills. I’m not sure, but I think I’ve always been a maker… I grew up in the countryside with a sketch book and flask in my bag. I was very lucky to have the freedom to walk around fields and woods, and had the encouragement and guidance of artist friends of my parents. I just drew and painted what I saw which was trees, flowers, wildlife and the sea, it has had a huge influence on my current practice, but I didn’t know it until recently!

  

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

I am influenced by colour and shape. I have always been attracted to repetitive patterns – something you often find in nature. Screen printing is a fantastic process to discover unusual colour combinations. Happy accidents happen all the time – it’s very inspiring.

 

What is the process?

I’ll see a colour combination which stays with me, and maybe a plant, or interesting angle on a building and an idea will be formed. I tend to mock up the idea on my computer first and then print out the colour layers onto acetate, which I then expose onto a screen with photo emulsion. Once it’s dry it’s almost ready to print from.

Next it’s getting the right colours which can be tricky to begin with. Mixing the colour you had in your mind into a pot is not always possible, but when it’s close enough, I start printing. I print onto ethically produced organic cotton. I’m proud that my business is as ethical as I can make it. All my inks are soil association approved organic too.

  

What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

I am free to explore all my ideas. Although a lot of my time is spent at a computer running the business, I can put it aside any time to experiment with an idea I’ve had. I also run a studio in Bristol and rent it to some fantastic makers, so spending my days with them is very motivating and inspirational…

 I feel so lucky that I have managed to make a job for myself which allows me to be creative.


Jude de Berker -Meet the maker JANUARY January 19 2015

An Interview with Jude de Berker

This month we didn't have to look far for our artist of the month. We've been chatting with our very own Jude, the Turpentine's creative mastermind.

 

So tell us a bit about yourself. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

It must run in my blood as I can't remember a time when I wasn't making things! My dad is a keen woodworker and apparently as a toddler I used to take everything out of his tool box, line it all up and then put it all back again again and again – very trusting parents! I remember just after uni one of my friends asked me what I planned to do and I replied that as long as I was making stuff I would be happy and that's pretty much what I've done since then; learning anything and everything to do with making from printing to welding but always coming back to my first love of jewellery.

 

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

A lot of my work is initially inspired by nature which I then abstract to make unusual shapes. I also have a bit of an obsession with geometric shapes like our logo, a lot of the time these will come from random doodleing but can also come from anything from architecture to ancient armor. A lot of the time designs will just come spontaneously whilst I'm at the workbench – but only about 20% of ideas make it to finished designs.

 

What is the process?

When making a new collection I'll start with days and days of research and drawing. Once I've found something that I think is interesting I 'll abstract it down to a simpler form and start making samples. The majority of my work is either saw pierced from silver sheet or made from wax casting methods. So I'll be sitting at the bench-peg sawing away or carving tiny bits of blue jewellers wax until I'm happy with the shapes. I love this part of the process – completely giving in to my obsessional nature!

 

What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

It's having the excuse to constantly learn new skills and being able to satisfy my curiosity. I'm terrible at going down 'rabbit holes' where I'll spend hours on one task and forget anything else I'm meant to be doing. As a maker this is useful as I'm totally happy sawing away for hours but it's not so useful in a workplace when things just need to get done!

 


Christmas Craft Workshops December 29 2014

We've been making it personal this Christmas with our crafty workshops. They were so much fun we wanted to share them with you here.

 

Over the past few weeks we've been running a series of Christmas workshops aimed at helping people make their Christmas a bit more creative this year. Here's a rundown of what we've been up to. 

Christmas Wreath Making

Using floristry techniques we've been getting green fingered on a few occasions this December, teaching people how to create their own Christmas wreaths. The smells in the shop after these workshops were a real taste of Christmas; pine, cinnamon, and orange with a splash of Eucalyptus.
The workshops started by building moss around a florists wreath ring to create a base to build from. Pine branches were then skilfully stripped, clipped and wired into place, until bushy green wreaths emerged. Then the decorating began, arguments raged over whether a classic or blinged out wreath was better, we won’t tell which one we made! 

Print your own Christmas cards 

In this craft workshop we taught people the basics of block printing, helping everyone understand the inverted nature of the print was the first step. Everyone designed their own print, with some excellent inspiration and top tips from our in house art teacher Jude.
The next step was to transfer that design onto the block for printing, and begin carving using soft cutting block and specialist tools. The variety and creativity of the designs were fantastic! This personalised reusable Christmas stamp was then used to hand stamp as many cards as they could before the classed ended! 

Make your own Christmas Decorations

My personal favourite, this workshop taught people how to use air drying clay to emboss, texture, stamp and cut out their own Christmas decorations. The first step was to roll the clay out to the required thickness, then dive right in and start creating. Jude provided examples and an amazing array of implements, stamps and textures for everyone to let their creative juices go wild. I loved the silver leaf, which gave a beautiful finish to the clay. The letter stamps were used to great effect to created truly personalised Christmas decorations.

Merry Christmas and thanks to everyone who took part for making these workshops so much fun!  


Turpentine wins Brand Amplifier's Platinum Award! December 18 2014

 

Earlier this year we entered a competition run by Brand Amplifier, never imagining what that application would kick off for us. 

We made it through the first round over the summer and were admitted to their exceptional training programme for entrepreneurs. The four week business boot camp was attended by Alice this Autumn. The weekly seminars were led by a variety of business experts from a range of backgrounds. This meant, each week the knowledge and skills they shared with us was phenomenal. We were inspired, and really took on the challenges they laid down. All three Turpentine ladies would meet every week and discuss what had been learned how we could apply that to our fledgling business. 

The most immediate change was following the social media boot camp we starting using Instagram with a vengeance! Have you checked out our feed?


Although the really amazing outcome of that application was the help it gave us planning the Turpentine’s future. The last year has been an amazing journey for us, finally opening our own business in May 2014. Brand Amplifier really came at a perfect time for us as we’d just started thinking about where to go next. The sessions on business strategy helped us decided the direction of our business and how we could achieve it. We now know exactly where we’re heading and how we’re going to get there. Watch this space for more information!


The course culminated in a pitch at the ITV studios to a panel of Judges on each entrepreneur’s vison for their businesses future. We were completely blown away to win the platinum award!


Winning and the awards night were an amazing experience and the £2,500 will really make a difference to our business. However it’s the knowledge we gain and the confidence boost from the fact that someone else believes in our business as much was we do and see the potential in it that’s going to stay with us.  
Now the work really begins to start putting everything we've learnt into practice and to pay it forward by mentoring other new business.  


To anyone reading this who runs their own business or is thinking of starting one up, we cannot recommend Brand Amplifier enough. It has been invaluable for us!

 


Silver Necklace Workshop bloggers evening December 15 2014

Last week we had the pleasure of hosting a bloggers evening organised by StreetHub, which is a great app for finding independent shops like us in your area.

 

Joining us, and the first to take part in our new 'Make a Silver Necklace Workshop' were 5 amazing bloggers.  We couldn’t have asked for a more enthusiastic bunch and had a great time whilst they designed and made their pieces. With step by step instructions from Jude, our in house art teacher and trained jeweler, they each came out of the lesson with a completely unique necklace.

 

All 5 bloggers have since written some amazing blog posts about the evening and we are so pleased to hear that they enjoyed it as much as we did.

 

We thoroughly recommend taking the time to read their blogs!

 

Shelly George 

Saima Kara 

Shoshana Bratton 

Emilia Buggins

and Emma from catch52

 

If you fancy joining us in this workshop you can book on to our next date - Sunday the 25th of Jan here a great Christmas present for anyone into jewellery too!


Boodle -Meet the Maker DECEMBER December 02 2014

An interview with Boodle

This month we're catching up with the creative talent behind Boodle, Beth Buss, to find out what makes her tick. Beth's work features a range of ingenuous animals and their strange antics and we've been dying to know where her inspiration comes from and how she creates her colourful work.   

 

So tell us a bit about yourself. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

After studying for my degree in Textile Design at Nottingham Trent it seemed natural to carry on designing and creating, I worked part time and slowly built up my business after attending a short business course. I worked at a screen printers, which really helped build my skills in this field, and gave me more inspiration to start up my own business. Sustainability has had a strong influence in my work so I always make sure I use organic cotton/sustainable materials and eco-friendly inks.  This makes the process a bit harder as the inks are harder to use and the materials are more expensive, but in my opinion you get a higher quality product.

 

What inspires you and how does this influence your work?

Growing up in the Devon countryside has given me a passion for animals and the outdoors, which are the main influences of my work. I have always loved animals and am a bit of a crazy cat lady at heart! (I have 2 ginger toms at home).  I have always enjoyed drawing and like to give character to each animal to give him or her a bit of personality. Adventure is also incorporated into my designs; I like the idea of animals going on adventures! This helps the customer relate to the product too.

 

Can you tell us a bit more about the process?
When I am screen-printing a product I always start drawing using black ink on white paper, I then scan my drawings into Illustrator and build up layers of colours and get the image ready for printing. I then print the image out onto acetate using black ink.
The next stage is to expose this onto a screen, so I coat up a screen with emulsion and when dry I expose the design by using a UV light box to burn the image onto the screen. You then wash the image out of the screen and leave to dry.
Once the screen is dry you can set up for printing and pull the ink through the exposed screen using a squeegee to reveal your design, this is the exciting bit!
Once you have printed your products you have to cure the ink with heat (in my case a heat press) to ensure the ink does not wash out of the T-shirt.
  

What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

 I love working for myself, I spent quite a few years juggling working part time and building up my business so I feel very lucky to be able to work on my business full time now. I love being able to create products from my illustrations, its always exciting when you get a new idea and can follow it through to a final product. I share a studio with fellow designer makers, which is great as we can bounce ideas around and is nice to be part of a community as working from home can be isolating at times.
  
You can check out Boodle’s lovely wears here in our online store, and keep up to date with the latest from Boodle via Facebook, Twitter or Boodle Boutique.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Fold your own Christmas Stars November 28 2014

These stars make great Christmas decorations and cost almost nothing! We’ve been going star crazy here hanging whole clusters of them from our ceiling.

Try using coloured paper, newspaper of even old wrapping paper.  

 

You will need

A printer

A Pentagon Template

Scissors

Paper

 

 

Origami purists would make their own pentagon using artful folding and without the aid of scissors. As I’m not an origami Jedi master here’s the template I used: http://timvandevall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Printable-Pentagon.pdf

Once obtained cut out your Pentagon.

 

STEP 1. Start with the good side of the paper facing down, fold in half through the point and unfold. Repeat through each of the points so you have a set of folds as in the photo below.

 

STEP 2. Fold up the flat edge so the corners meet the diagonal folds you just made. As below. Repeat this for all 5 sides.

 

 

STEP 3. This is the tricky bit. Now fold along the left hand crease you just make and fold up the bottom crease while pulling the corner out, as below. Take the corner over to the left and flatten. Unfold and repeat at each corner.

 

 

STEP 4. Unfold the pentagon. You should now see a mini pentagon inside created by your earlier folds. Pinch up all the corners around this mini pentagon. This is where the magic happens. With a bit of wobbling the pentagon should collapse into a star.

 

 

STEP 5. Turn your star over. Take the right side of one of the pointed arms, and fold it over until it meets the centre of the star, as below. Repeat on each arm until your star is complete!

 

 

WELL DONE!


Will Clarke -Meet the Maker NOVEMBER November 05 2014

An interview with Will Clarke

This month we've been getting to know Will, who's explained how he combines intricate hand drawn illustrations with screen printing to produce his striking graphic works.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

Well, apart from studying in Bath I have always lived and worked in London and have recently moved my practice into a studio in Brixton (just round the corner from the Turpentine!). To be honest, I never really intended to become a maker as such – when I was at university I was much more interested in becoming an illustrator, or even a graphic designer. It wasn't until the third year of studying that I saw the potential of using print in my work and since then I have pretty much been printing non-stop.

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

I really enjoy fine art that is inspired by craft, or has elements of illustration or print in it. Artists such as Julie Mehretu, Grayson Perry and Eduardo Paolozzi really inspire me. I plan to work on some unique large-scale pieces that combine different techniques and draw inspiration from artists such as these.

What is the process?

I often get asked how my work is created and whether I ever sell my originals, but in many ways my prints are my originals because I use both illustration and print to achieve the final composition. To break it down, all of my artwork is initially hand drawn, then I use silk screen printing to add the splash of colour. Silk screen is a hand printing technique which can be used to re-produce artwork but also to add new layers of colour into it. I really enjoy both stages and in many ways they are art-forms within themselves. The drawing can look quite different having been printed because it completely flattens any tone it once had and it becomes a very even and graphic image.

What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

I used to love to draw and the printing always stressed me out somewhat! With screen printing you need to be very careful as it has multiple stages of preparation. But now I love to do both. The drawing represents a kind of unknown – I never really plan the composition out too accurately before I start because I like to see where it takes me. Whereas printing is all about careful planning and accuracy – although you never quite know how it will turn out with screen printing until the ink is on the page. 

Check out Will's creations in our online shop here.

 

 

 

 

 


Instagram to WIN a £25 gift voucher October 28 2014

Enter our Instagram competition and win yourself a £25 Turpentine gift voucher to be used in store or on any of our art classes.

 

All you have to do is upload a photo of your favourite Turpentine purchases or creations to Instagram tag us and use #MyTurpentine in your caption.

The best picture will be selected by a panel of judges on Thursday 20th November, and the lucky winner notified via Instagram. 

Show us what you love!

 

 

 

 

Terms and Condition Apply
Entry into this competition will be taken to constitute acceptance of the terms and conditions.
1. This competition is open to residents of the UK, aged 18 years or over, except for employees of The Turpentine Limited, their families or anyone else associated with this competition.
2.  Valid entry into this competition is via Instagram, the photo uploaded must be of a product purchased from the Turpentine or something created at a Turpentine Workshop. Photo's must be tagged to the Turpentine's account and the hashtag #MyTurpentine used in the caption or comment.
3.  Copyright in all images submitted for this competition remains with the respective entrants. However, in consideration of their providing the Competition, each entrant grants a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual licence to The Turpentine Limited to feature any or all of the submitted images in any of their publications, their websites and/or in any promotional material connected to this competition.
4. No cash alternative is offered
5. All entries must be received before midnight on Wednesday 19th November 2014.
6. No responsibility can be taken for entries which are delayed or not received for any reason.
7. This competition is govern by english law
 

DIY - Pumpkin Carving October 23 2014

With just a few days to go to Halloween why not try your hand at pumpkin carving this week and make a Halloween lantern. It's easy, fun and your average kitchen should have all the tools you need!

You will need:

  • Pumpkin
  • Brio
  • Kitchen Knife
  • Spoon
  • Potato peeler
  • Tea light

  

First design your pumpkin, this will make carving it much easier. If you've stuck for inspiration a quick Google image search should help get the creative juices flowing.

Draw out your chosen design onto the pumpkin using a biro.

Once your design is in place trace out where the top will be cut, leaving a few centimetres between this and the main design. Using your kitchen knife cut round to remove the top.

Using your potato peeler and spoon scoop out the innards of the pumpkin leaving behind the flesh wall.

   

Top Tip: Not all of your design needs to be carved fully through the flesh. If you thin the wall of pumpkin, scratching the surface will be enough to let light shine through.

Now carefully carve out your pumpkin design. If you have one available a craft knife works really well here.

Light your lantern with a tea light.

Have a go and share your pictures with us! 


DIY - Concrete casting Tealights October 20 2014

Make your own industrial chic tea lights in the latest of our craft tutorials. Just follow the steps below, this is a great crafty project and super cheap!

 

 

You will need:

  • concrete
  • sand
  • water
  • rubber gloves
  • large plastic container
  • silicone cupcake cases
  • wooden spoon
  • trowel
  • small jam jars 
  • measuring jug
  • blunt knife
  • sandpaper

Using the measuring jug add two times the amount of sand to concrete in your container, mix well with your wooden spoon.

Add just enough water so that the mixture is a liquid but not runny - the more water you add the weaker your cast will be but you also want to make sure the mixture can pour in to you mould.

 



Mix well and use your trowel to place it in to you silicone cupcake holders. 

Top Tip: Use two together to help them keep their shape. 

Allow to dry for 20 or so minutes or until the mixture is firmer, then place your small jam jar with sand inside into the middle of you cupcake mould and push down so that the concrete goes all around it.  

 

Allow to dry for a few more hours until the concrete is very firm but not completely dry then remove the sand and lightly tap the edges of the jar with your knife and release the jar.

 

Allow to completely dry - this may take over 24hrs. When it is dry remove the silicone moulds and sand the tops of you tea light holders by placing upside down on a flat surface and moving in a figure of eight over your sand paper.

 

Tada! Now you can create as many concrete tea lights as you like! 


Liam Roberts- Meet the Maker OCTOBER October 03 2014

An interview with Liam Roberts

 

Meet Liam, the man behind the Brixton Tree, a self confessed map geek and a whole lot more besides. When Liam isn't creating imaginative maps, he travels the world and is now a published author. Check out his new travelogue, A Eurasian Diary

 

 

Tell us a bit about yourself. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

I’m a British-Canadian guy who’s been in London for ten years now, and have come to consider it home (or, at least one of many homes!).

I think I’ve always tried to make things of one type or another, but it’s almost always in two dimensions – I’m a big lover of photography, mapmaking and the written word too. Creating anything in three dimensions is obviously too much for me.

 

What are your inspirations and what influences your work?

When I first moved here, one of the things I was actually most excited about was the chance to hang out in Stanfords Map Shop in Covent Garden. I’d go there a couple of times a month, just to glory in three floors of maps illustrating every corner of the world. Three floors! So I’m probably a map geek first and foremost.

But, in time, I became much more interested in the maps that hadn’t been drawn yet. I started making my own, playing with different projections and colours and materials, to try and get at how far you can push a map before it starts being sort of, well, not a map.

These days, I’ve been enjoying making maps that are very illustrative, and more experiential or fantastical in what they’re covering. Always purely subjective – not recommended for navigation! 

 

 

What is the process?

It often starts from various imaginings about the community – what it looks like to me now, or what it might look like in some alternative universe. “London culture” has all sorts of particular icons – its pubs, the Tube and the Thames, to start with. Those were all starting points for me on various illustrations – to explore ways you might render and navigate different things that are iconic, but in forms we’re not used to.

I’m interested in fantasy urban planning too (oh, the daydreams I dream!), so am starting to look at some new work along those lines. We've heard about the Brixton Masterplan to redevelop a whole swathe of the local area – when thinking about the impact of that, I wonder, what different kinds of masterplans might have been drawn up sixty or seventy years ago? What kind of Brixton would we have today? Would we recognise it?

  

What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

It’s hugely satisfying to take a completely imagined concept and make it real (at least on paper). One of the things I’ve found is that map-geekery is a pretty big religion, so I've felt supremely lucky to be able to share some of these ideas with mappy fellow travelers! 

 

Check out Liam's creations here in our online shop, and follow the latest from Liam on Twitter @liamtyping

 


Kate Rowland -Meet the Maker September August 30 2014

An interview with Kate Rowland

As part of our meet the makers series we'll be celebrating the people behind the work. We know the finished products we sell are all the end result of great design and hard work by the artists and makers. We want to tell these stories, understand what inspires and drives them, and find out how they create their work.

Kicking things off in September we've been talking to Kate Rowland who transforms her quirky illustrations into these little gems.  

 

So tell us a bit about yourself. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

I've always loved drawing and making, since I was little. It’s inexplicably satisfying to create an object or image with your own hands! When I was studying at university I had the opportunity to experiment with lots of new processes and ideas. I thought laser cutting would be an amazing way of transforming my drawings into something more.

 

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

My favourite TV shows and films inspire a lot of my designs. This started out as one of my friends loved Twin Peaks, so I thought I’d make her a set of little brooches inspired by the show. I started selling them online and I got an incredible response! I’m also fascinated by space exploration, and love the imagery from the space race in the 50's and 60's, so a lot of my designs have a retro-space-age vibe.

 

What is the process?

I always draw and write down any ideas I have (80% don’t escape the sketchbook), and then spend a while refining the drawings a little. I like maintaining the ‘imperfections’ in my drawings, as when images are transformed into vectors to be laser etched, they tend to become quite clean and neat. I like the sketchy appearance of my drawings and so try to translate this over to the finished design as much as possible. The designs are then laser cut into plywood, sanded a little, some are painted, and finished off with a brooch back or necklace chain.

 

What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

I love every part of it, but I think being able to use my creativity on a day-to-day basis. I've only ever wanted to draw and make for a living, so each day that I can do that is super special. Cheese!

 

You can check out Kate’s lovely wares here in our online store, and keep up to date with the latest news via Kate's own site or on Twitter.


DIY - Whale Chalk Board August 20 2014

This week we’re whaley showing you how to make this chalk board that we normally sell in the shop for £40!

 You will need:

I haven't suggested which power tools to buy as they vary wildly in price, I’m hoping you will already have the them or be able to borrow them. If you are planning on buying power tools I always recommend buying a well known brand and reading reviews before purchasing, good tools are worth investing in and will way outlast cheaper versions.

Lastly if you have a workbench handy I would recommend using it, but if not you can use the edge of a kitchen table – just be extra careful when using the jigsaw. 

Got everything? Right lets get started then!

Here's your outline design:

First of all draw your design on the wood, use the straight edge of the wood as much as possible as this will give you less to cut and keep the design as straight as possible. I have used a piece of MDF that I had already so needed to cut out more, if you have bought the size suggested you should only need to round off the edges and cut out the tail.

Clamp your wood to your workbench or table with the first part you intend to cut hanging off the edge. Pop on your mask and goggles and cut out your design with your jigsaw, being extra careful to move the wood so that the part you are cutting is always hanging of the edge of the table so that you don’t accidentally saw in to it (I’ve done it before much to my chagrin!)

Always try and keep to the right of your drawn line – this way you can always see your line and if you have any wobbles you will be able to sand them away. If you cut on the line or to the left if you make a mistake you will not be able to see your line anymore and have to re-draw your design smaller to fix it.

Jigsaws don’t like tight curves so with trickier areas such as the tale don’t try to cut it all in one cut, do as much as you can and then come in from a different angle. If your new to using a jigsaw I would recommend trying to cut out some wavy and straight lines before going straight in to this so that you get a feel for it.

 

Hard part over! Now you have finished cutting your design you will need to sand down the edges to perfect the shape and smooth it down ready for painting. Wrap a piece of your sand paper around your sanding block and rub it against the side of your wood. Try to keep your hand at a right angle to your wood so that you don’t accidentally round off the edges from sanding them.

With areas that are too small to get your sanding block in rip a bit of sand paper off and use just your hands.

Once you happy that your wood is smooth and your design is how you wanted it your ready to drill your eye and chalk blowhole. Firstly draw where you would like the eye to be, place a bit of scrape wood underneath your wood making sure it is behind where the eye would be. Clamp down your wood to your surface and using your power drill and 8mm drill bit drill through as straight as you can.

Now mark on where your blowhole will be, clamp your wood so that it is standing up straight at a nice right angle (I have used the leg of my table). Drill a hole the depth you want your chalk to sit ( I suggest at least 3cm) firstly using your 3mm drill bit , then your 8mm drill bit. Using a smaller drill bit first helps to make sure the drill goes where you want, with drilling into such a small thickness it’s easy to slip off.

Now your ready to paint you whale using the chalkboard paint and mini gloss roller. 2 coats should be plenty.

 

Once dry decide which way you would like your whale to face and place face down on a tea towel to protect your paint job. Screw in your picture frame hooks, tie on your rope or coil round your wire and that's it, your finished and ready to hang!

 

If you would rather just buy this instead of making it they are available on our online shop here.

 

All the best, Jude


DIY - Whale chalkboard August 20 2014

This week we’re whaley showing you how to make this chalk board that we normally sell in the shop for £40!

 You will need:

I haven't suggested which power tools to buy as they vary wildly in price, I’m hoping you will already have the them or be able to borrow them. If you are planning on buying power tools I always recommend buying a well known brand and reading reviews before purchasing, good tools are worth investing in and will way outlast cheaper versions.

Lastly if you have a workbench handy I would recommend using it, but if not you can use the edge of a kitchen table – just be extra careful when using the jigsaw. 

Got everything? Right lets get started then!

Here's your outline design:

First of all draw your design on the wood, use the straight edge of the wood as much as possible as this will give you less to cut and keep the design as straight as possible. I have used a piece of MDF that I had already so needed to cut out more, if you have bought the size suggested you should only need to round off the edges and cut out the tail.

Clamp your wood to your workbench or table with the first part you intend to cut hanging off the edge. Pop on your mask and goggles and cut out your design with your jigsaw, being extra careful to move the wood so that the part you are cutting is always hanging of the edge of the table so that you don’t accidentally saw in to it (I’ve done it before much to my chagrin!)

Always try and keep to the right of your drawn line – this way you can always see your line and if you have any wobbles you will be able to sand them away. If you cut on the line or to the left if you make a mistake you will not be able to see your line anymore and have to re-draw your design smaller to fix it.

Jigsaws don’t like tight curves so with trickier areas such as the tale don’t try to cut it all in one cut, do as much as you can and then come in from a different angle. If your new to using a jigsaw I would recommend trying to cut out some wavy and straight lines before going straight in to this so that you get a feel for it.

 

Hard part over! Now you have finished cutting your design you will need to sand down the edges to perfect the shape and smooth it down ready for painting. Wrap a piece of your sand paper around your sanding block and rub it against the side of your wood. Try to keep your hand at a right angle to your wood so that you don’t accidentally round off the edges from sanding them.

With areas that are too small to get your sanding block in rip a bit of sand paper off and use just your hands.

Once you happy that your wood is smooth and your design is how you wanted it your ready to drill your eye and chalk blowhole. Firstly draw where you would like the eye to be, place a bit of scrape wood underneath your wood making sure it is behind where the eye would be. Clamp down your wood to your surface and using your power drill and 8mm drill bit drill through as straight as you can.

Now mark on where your blowhole will be, clamp your wood so that it is standing up straight at a nice right angle (I have used the leg of my table). Drill a hole the depth you want your chalk to sit ( I suggest at least 3cm) firstly using your 3mm drill bit , then your 8mm drill bit. Using a smaller drill bit first helps to make sure the drill goes where you want, with drilling into such a small thickness it’s easy to slip off.

Now your ready to paint you whale using the chalkboard paint and mini gloss roller. 2 coats should be plenty.

 

Once dry decide which way you would like your whale to face and place face down on a tea towel to protect your paint job. Screw in your picture frame hooks, tie on your rope or coil round your wire and that's it, your finished and ready to hang!

 

Hope you enjoyed this make, feel free to ask any questions in the comments section! If you would rather just buy this instead of making it they are available on our online shop here.

 

All the best, Jude


DIY - How to make a silver wire ring August 12 2014

I love making this ring, it’s a lovely simply design, can be made to fit easily and requires no soldering! I’ve made it with silver here but it will work just as well with brass wire which is a lot cheaper.

I would recommend practicing the swirl part a few times before starting as that can be a bit tricky but with a bit of practice you will get it in no time.

You will need:

  • 15cm of half hard 1mm Silver wire or half hard 1mm brass wire
  • A set of jewellery pliers (round nose, half round and flat nose as well as cutters -see the picture at the end of this post)
  • Something round about the size of you finger (I used the end of a vice here but a piece of dowel or thick pen would do)
  • A file - jewellers tend to use 2nd cut
  • Ultra fine wire wool .

1 & 2 - Using your flat nose pliers straighten out your silver wire

3 – Holding the wire in the middle with your flat nose pliers, bend you wire in half using you fingers.

4 &5- Use your flat nose pliers to flatten the bend so that the wire sits as tightly together as possible

6, 7, & 8 - This next stage is easier using a mandrel and raw hide mallet however, these will set you back at least £40 so this is the way to do it on the cheap! Using your half round pliers start at the end of the wire that has the fold. Gently squeeze and bend the wire so that it starts to curve. Work your way to the end bending just a little at a time so that you get a smooth curve – you may need to do this several times to get a circle but it’s much better to go slow and avoid getting kinks. Carry on until you have a full circle with extra wire on the unfolded end to make your swirls with (see fig 10.)

9 & 10 - Using something roughly the same size as your finger (I’m using the end of a vice here) slip your ring on and gently squeeze it against the round object using you flat nose pliers. Do this to get rid of any bumps you may have until you have a smooth shape like in figure 10.

11 - At this point check that your ring fits your desired finger, if it doesn’t simply squeeze it together more to make it smaller. Once your happy with the size trim one of the free ends so that it is about 1cm shorter than the other using your cutters.

12. File the longer end to create a flat end and get rid of any sharpness 

13 & 14 - Now to create your swirl design! Using your round nose pliers hold the longer end right at the tip and roll it in back on itself to create a swirl.

15. File the shorter end as before to make sure there is no sharpness. 

16. Repeat the process of creating a swirl using the round nose pliers on the shorter end - this swirl needs to be smaller than the first

Once your happy with your swirl designs use you half round pliers to curve them to the shape of your finger so that the whole ring fits comfortably. Now all you need to do is rub all over with wire wool to shine it up - beautiful!

How to tell which pliers are which? 

 

Hope you enjoyed this post - watch this space for weekly DIY's from the Turpentine!

 

Jude :)


We're moving to a new site and so is our blog July 11 2014

 

  • Our Grand Opening! So after months of planning, designing and...

    May 13, 2014





















    Our Grand Opening!

    So after months of planning, designing and building we made it! And as grand openings go, I think this one went pretty well. 

    It was great to celebrate and show off some of our amazing maker’s and their amazing work. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

    Amber, Alice and Jude

  • We’re open! Come check us out - 433 Coldharbour Lane,...

    May 4, 2014



    We’re open! Come check us out - 433 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton. Just round the corner from the tube.

  • Handmade shelves for handmade work.

    April 27, 2014



    Handmade shelves for handmade work.

  • Turpentine anagrams before our sign goes up.

    April 27, 2014



    Turpentine anagrams 
    before our sign goes up.

  • Our shop fit one day in one minute.

    April 24, 2014



    Our shop fit one day in one minute.

  • Dinner and a Movie

    March 17, 2014

    So my darling husband planned quite the surprise for me last night - a special kind of dinner and a movie experience.

    The evening started with a tour of Brixton Brewery, a hidden gem underneath the railway arches of the overground. The tour was led by Mike, who you can tell is very passionate about brewing beer. He told us all about the process and ingredients, how different hops and barley result in different styles and walked us through the process of how they make Effra Ale, Electric IPA and their other American style craft beers. We tried them all!

     

    We then went on to Brixton East, a former furniture warehouse opposite the long-gone Brixton East railway station (who knew?!), for dinner with the Brixton Kitchen’s supper club. To accompany the film, Just A Screen had organised a special showing by of one of my all-time favourite films “Stand By Me”. The venue was gorgeous and the food even more so. A cocktail to start, spiced popcorn and a main of beef and prune tagine. Desert was an apt choice of blueberry pie, all finished off with some chilli hot chocolate!

    I cannot recommend enough taking part in one of these evenings so please do check out Brixton Kitchen, Just A Screen and of course, Brixton Brewery.

     

  • Turpentine Ladies in disguise! We had a great time at the...

    March 13, 2014



    Turpentine Ladies in disguise!

    We had a great time at the Affordable Art Fair last night and would definitely recommend taking a trip down there. Saw some amazing work, took part in some Burlesque life drawing classes and of course took advantage of the amazing photo booth!

    Really pleased to see Brixton’s own Knight Webb Gallery there too, showcasing as usual some great artists. 

  • OOh look at all the exciting stock we have arriving! Feels like...

    March 12, 2014



    OOh look at all the exciting stock we have arriving! Feels like Christmas at The Turpentine office. 

  • Signing legal paperwork for the shop! Can’t hide my...

    March 7, 2014



    Signing legal paperwork for the shop! Can’t hide my excitement. Imagine what I’ll look like when we actually sign the lease! 

  • Motto of the day! Typography Poster by Matt Edson

    March 5, 2014